Department of Urban Studies and Planning

In 2002, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) had a change in leadership for the first time in eight years, welcomed three new faculty members, and implemented innovative changes to the core curriculum of the Master in City Planning Program. All of these factors contribute to ensuring that the program maintains its excellence and stays at the cutting edge of planning education and practice. Applications for graduate admission to the department continued to climb, increasing 15 percent for 2003, on top of the 50 percent increase experienced in 2002. Yield on admissions in both the master's and doctoral programs remained at extraordinarily high levels, aided at the doctoral level by the continued vital support of the Presidential Fellowships.

The department continued to make strides in diversifying its faculty. In 2002, we hired an African American man and an Asian American woman, and all three of the 2002–2003 junior faculty searches yielded women. Once again, in every search the top candidate accepted our offer. As of July 1, 2003, 39 percent of the DUSP tenured and tenure-track faculty were female.

On a more somber note, the department mourned the passing of Rolf Engler, administrative officer of DUSP for more than 30 years. His memorial celebration filled every seat in Kresge Little Theater with admirers from across the Institute and beyond, and the tributes provided a memorable occasion for all present. Considering the magnitude of the loss, we feel very fortunate to have appointed an outstanding replacement, Karen Yegian, who has handled this major transition with tremendous grace and competence and has already received the School's Infinite Mile Award in recognition of her contributions.

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New Department Head

Lawrence Vale, professor of urban design and planning, was appointed head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, effective July 1, 2002. He succeeds Bishwapriya Sanyal, head of the department since 1994. Vale has taught in DUSP since 1990 and in 1999 was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in recognition of his contribution to its undergraduate education program. He holds degrees from Amherst College, MIT, and the University of Oxford, and is the author of several books examining government-sponsored environments, including Architecture, Power, and National Identity (1992), From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors (2000), and Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods (2002). His recent work has been recognized with the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians (1994), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1995), the Chester Rapkin Award (1997) from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, a Place Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association and the journal Places (1999), and the Best Book in Urban Affairs Award from the Urban Affairs Association (2001).

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New Faculty Hires

In 2002–2003, the department paid particular attention to the needs of our School's Center for Real Estate, whose continued strength remains vital to the teaching program of DUSP. In the fall, Professor David Geltner joined Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for Real Estate. Geltner holds a BGS in urban studies from the University of Michigan, an MS in public affairs from Carnegie-Mellon, and a PhD in real estate finance from MIT (through the Civil Engineering Department). Before joining our faculty, Geltner held the Real Estate Executive Advisory Council professorship in the Finance Department of the College of Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati. He had served as a visiting professor at MIT in 1998 and was visiting professor in the Department of Land Management of the faculty of Urban and Regional Science at the University of Reading in the UK. He is coeditor of the journal Real Estate Economics and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Research, and the Journal of Property Research. He is coauthor of Commercial Real Estate Analysis Investment, a new graduate-level investment textbook. David was appointed director of the Center for Real Estate as of July 2003, replacing Bill Wheaton, who remains as director of research for the center.

J. Phillip Thompson joined the faculty as associate professor (without tenure) in the area of urban politics and community development. Thompson holds a BA in sociology from Harvard University, an MCP from Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), and a PhD in political science from CUNY. Thompson was previously a visiting professor at Yale University and was associate professor at Barnard College and Columbia University. Thompson's wide variety of related experience includes serving as senior policy advisor for Policy Link, as consultant at the Aspen Institute and Rockefeller Foundation, and as deputy general manager of the New York City Housing Authority. In 1990–1991, he worked as director of the mayor's Office of Housing Operation and Development in New York City. From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Thompson was the public housing research coordinator for the NSF's National Consortium for Research on Violence. As associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Columbia, Thompson distinguished himself as a scholar of urban politics and race relations. While actively pursuing a research agenda centered on the effects and problems of African American political incorporation in US cities, Thompson is also currently coprogram chair of the urban section for the next annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. He is investigating whether high-tech industries offer "color-blind" opportunities for black economic advancement.

Annette Kim, appointed assistant professor of Urban Studies and Planning, received her BA in architecture and studio art from Wellesley College, her MPP in public policy from Harvard University, and her MA (in visual studies) and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She has also served as a consultant to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, the World Bank, African and Asian governments, and community-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the United States. She has received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, Harvard University Asian American Fellowship Program, University of California chancellor and vice-chancellor, Foreign Language Area Studies Grant Program, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, World Affairs Council, and the American Society of Public Administrators. Kim's focus is on urban development, institutional change, and spatial analysis. Her current research includes a comparative analysis of urban development in European and Asian transition cities and the relationship between urban growth patterns and institutional change. She has been studying the new market transactions and institutional arrangements that emerged to finance and develop the rapid urban growth of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, during the last decade of economic reforms.

After international searches, three other new faculty members will join the department in September 2003. Dr. JoAnn Carmin, assistant professor of environmental policy and planning, was formerly assistant professor in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, and her research focuses on the mobilization of civil society in response to environmental disasters. Dr. Judith Layzer, assistant professor of environmental policy, was formerly assistant professor of political science at Middlebury College, and her current research examines the politics of ecosystem management in the United States. Dr. Lynn Fisher, assistant professor of real estate, was formerly assistant professor in the Business School at Washington State, and she conducts research on both real estate and housing economics.

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Faculty Achievements

Our faculty garnered many prestigious awards this year. Professor Alice Amsden received Tufts University's Global Development and Environment Institute Leontief Economics Prize, was named by Scientific American as one of its Top 50 Technology Visionaries, and was selected to hold the Barton Weller chair. Professor Robert Fogelson's book Downtown won the Urban History Association Prize for Best Book in North American Urban History Published in 2001. Professor Eric Klopfer, director of the Teacher Education Project, won a Class of '51,'55,'72 Award.

Professor Eran Ben-Joseph received a Graduate Student Council Teaching Award and a Service Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Professor Keith Hampton was selected for the Harvard University Center for Business and Government Young Faculty Leaders Forum, received the International Communication Association's Herbert Dordick Biennial Dissertation Award, the Harold A. Innis Biannual Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology from the Media Ecology Association, and was appointed the Class of '43 career development assistant professor. Professor Ceasar McDowell was selected to participate in the MIT Leadership Program, L2L.

An Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Leadership Award went to Professor Joseph Ferreira Jr. Professor Anne Whiston Spirn was a National Design Award Finalist. Professor Lawrence Susskind won an Association of Conflict Resolution Pioneer Award. Lecturer Susan Silberberg received an Honorable Mention in the American Planning Association's Massachusetts Chapter Best Comprehensive Plan competition, 2002, and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Gold Star, 2002.

Time Magazine selected Lecturer William Shutkin's book for "The Green Century" Recommended Books in 2002. Professor Lorlene Hoyt was selected to hold the Edward H. and Joyce Linde career development assistant professorship. Professor Bish Sanyal was selected to hold a Ford international development chair. Research scientist Thomas Piper won a 2003 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism (Silver Baton).

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DUSP's Contribution to MIT–Wide Efforts

As part of a sponsored research project by the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS), Professors Tunney Lee, John de Monchaux, Eran Ben-Joseph, and PhD student Christopher Zegras led an urban planning studio of graduate students in Santiago, Chile. Cooperating with the Catholic University of Chile and the municipal government, the studio developed a sustainable urban development strategy for the municipality. The studio's work will be presented in Chile, offering insights into the concept of "operationalizing" sustainability in an urban context of a developing country.

The Environmental Technology and Public Policy Program, with support from AGS and in collaboration with its partners in Japan and Switzerland, published a variety of articles and reports demonstrating that the management of new kinds of partnerships involving public agencies, private companies, and civil society is the key to environmental innovation.

Professors Lawrence Susskind, Diane Davis, and Ralph Gakenheimer and graduate student staff continue to be heavily involved in MIT's Integrated Program on Urban, Regional, and Global Air Pollution in Mexico City. In addition, DUSP hosted three MS candidates in the new MIT-Harvard-Mexico Master of Science in Environmental Health Policy and Management Program.

DUSP's Urban Information Systems (UIS) faculty continued collaborative work with other MIT departments and centers. For example, faculty worked with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Transportation and Logistics on transportation planning work related to information and communications technologies (ICT) with the Chicago Transit Authority as well as with Puerto Rico's new "Tren Urbano." Other active research areas include welfare-to-work accessibility, land use and transportation interactions, urban design assistance, environmental justice screening, and political redistricting. Each of these areas has involved class projects and thesis work with "real-world" partners and impacts involving several federal, state, regional, and local agencies and NGOs. Professors Joseph Ferreira and Lorlene Hoyt and our technical staff worked with MIT Information Systems and the MIT Libraries to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of MIT's spatial data infrastructure.

Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal continued to direct the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice, a collaborative effort between DUSP and the Center for International Studies (CIS). The program organized a major international conference on human rights networks in Asia and is hosting leading activists and scholars as fellows.

Professor Diane Davis examined the political obstacles to metropolitan coordination in the Mexico City metropolitan area. Funded by Mario and Luisa Molina's Mexico City Project, Davis and two doctoral students produced a monograph for the project that targeted several areas of institutional and policy reform as well as new directions for future research. In a joint initiative with Professor John de Monchaux, she is helping to design a research seminar focused on Jerusalem, with the aim of making it a "place for peace." This three-year project, sponsored by CIS in conjunction with their Middle East Peace Initiative, will bring together faculty from Urban Studies, Political Science, Architecture, and Anthropology to discuss a new vision for Jerusalem. Their project builds on collaboration with a Palestinian and Israeli university (in real time through teleconferencing and other web-based technology). They will join in an ongoing seminar for faculty and students intended to lay the conceptual and logistical foundations for the launching of an international design competition for Jerusalem 2050.

Professor Karen R. Polenske received another two years of Alliance for Global Sustainability funding for the energy-conservation and pollution-reduction projects in the People's Republic of China (China). She is supervising a multidisciplinary team of chemical engineers, physicists, and planners from China, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. They are writing a book on their five years of energy-intensity analyses of the coke-making sector in Shanxi Province and are beginning to study energy-efficiency issues in iron and steel plants in Liaoning Province. She is also one of three lead investigators of another AGS project on the yellow-dust problem in China. The team is investigating the sequence of events that led to the atmospheric transport of the dust from the north and west of China and the economic and health effects this has on society in China, Japan, and Korea.

Professor John de Monchaux led a second Joint Urban Design Studio with the Departments of Land Economy and Architecture of the University of Cambridge. Their graduate students in teams with MIT students examined the implications of the physical and institutional dimensions of the projected growth of MIT and the companion growth of biotech and related research, service and residential facilities near MIT's campus. The studio was supported by the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) and jointly taught by John de Monchaux, Julian Beinart, and Charles Correa, who are now preparing a report on the findings of the studio.

Professor de Monchaux also took part in the spring planning studio, a collaboration with the Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, sponsored by the AGS. He is currently writing up a presentation on "evolutionary" or "adaptive" standards for the evaluation of housing site plans.

Professor Jennifer Davis, who has been named to the UN Millennium Development Task Force on Water and Sanitation, will be offering a water and sanitation infrastructure planning class to a combined group of MIT/Cambridge University graduate students in the spring of 2004, under the auspices of CMI.

In 2002–2003, MIT's Teacher Education Program (TEP), led by Professor Eric Klopfer, reached an important milestone. In the past, MIT students who wanted to obtain teacher certification were required to attend classes at Wellesley College. This year, the TEP trained its first class of teachers entirely at MIT. The program was a success and has attracted great interest from students, indicating that the program will grow next year. Through this program, funded by the Class Funds for Education and the School of Architecture, TEP should be able to greatly increase the number of MIT students receiving teacher certification.

Over the last year, TEP has strengthened its relationship with the Cambridge Public Schools through new projects. At the same time, it has furthered relationships with the Boston Public Schools—especially Tech Boston Academy—and the Brookline Public Schools. Dr. Klopfer has also hosted summer institutes on educational technology for teachers from around the Boston area and around the world in conjunction with TEP. We are delighted that Professor Klopfer has become the first holder of the newly created Joseph B. '54 and Rita P. Scheller career development professorship in teacher education. For more information on TEP, see

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Research and Teaching on Urban Planning

The intellectual life of the department is organized largely around the activities of four program groups and several cross-cutting research initiatives. The program groups include City Design and Development (CDD); Environmental Policy Group (EPG); Housing, Community, and Economic Development (HCED); and International Development and Regional Planning (IDRP). Until mid-2003, DUSP also treated Planning Support Systems (PSS) as a program group, one focusing on the technological dimensions of planning. However, in recognition of the ways that technology now permeates the research interests of many faculty and students in each of the program groups, we have renamed and recast the PSS group. Beginning in 2003–2004, we are establishing Urban Information Systems as a cross-cutting initiative rather than a separate program group. The goal is to bring together doctoral students and faculty from across the department who share an interest in information technology and its applications to planning and development.

City Design and Development

CDD faculty organized a special colloquium and seminar entitled "Regulating Place: Standards and the Shaping of Urban America." The colloquium brought together scholars and practitioners from around the country who reevaluated and assessed the impacts of standards and government regulations on the built and natural environment and the practice of planning. Results of the colloquium, led by Professors Ben-Joseph and Szold, will be published in a book by Routledge Press.

Professors Schuster, Frenchman, and Ben-Joseph have continued their research collaboration with colleagues at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Their most recent project, Event Places, looks at the relationship between urban events and the spaces within which they take place. Professor Schuster's book Informing Cultural Policy: The Research and Information Infrastructure was published in fall 2002 by the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University.

Environmental Policy Group

Industrial ecology was, for the second year, an important area of research for the Environmental Policy Group. EPG faculty and students have reported on a range of strategies for promoting industrial innovation as well as the effectiveness of various mechanisms for bringing the concerns and energies of consumers, communities, and companies to bear on reducing the adverse environmental and social impacts of industrial systems.

EPG, in conjunction with the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, expanded its efforts to document the difficulties faced by "environmental justice activists" seeking to minimize and remediate the risks facing poor communities of color experiencing the impacts of industrial accidents. Along similar lines, action research projects in the Boston area, undertaken in partnership with New Ecology, Inc., gave EPG students an opportunity to catalyze sustainable brownfield development.

EPG hosted a number of distinguished visitors during the year, including Professor John Forester from Cornell University's Department of City and Regional Planning, Jan Pronk, former minister of environment in Holland (and organizer of the recent UN-sponsored Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development), and Henrik Selin, a Wallenberg postdoctoral fellow from Sweden.

Housing, Community, and Economic Development

The HCED group spent collective time this year considering how to more effectively connect with the Center for Reflective Community Practice and other program groups in the department around the issue that the group came to call "the new minorities in the cities." Given experiences in Lawrence, MA, with the Hispanic community and the Boston Main Streets Program's newly arrived ethnic groups, HCED is striving to both conceptualize and engage in practice with the "complexity of community" that emerges with the arrival of new immigrant groups. No longer is the formulation simply one of black and white or even Hispanic and black and white. Other ethnic groups from Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean make a more complex and challenging mosaic of interests than our traditional "neighborhood model" accounts for.

This year, HCED focused its luncheon series around what came to be called "The New Immigrant City." At the center of the presentations were those of our own faculty: Xavier Briggs, a visiting MLK scholar, Alethia Jones, a PhD candidate from Yale, Professor Phil Thompson, and Professor Ceasar McDowell, head of the Center for Reflective Community Practice (CRCP). These four people of color provided a unique, rich, and rewarding polyphony of views on current issues of class, race, ethnicity, minority power, and labor movements in the nation's cities as well as well as a sense of history of those issues. Each of them presented their own views of "The New Immigrant City" and engaged in lively debate not only with the other students and faculty but with each other. Recognizing a unique opportunity to discuss issues of race and class with articulate, open-minded, and well-informed professionals, the audience grew with each passing week.

Close on the heels of and inspired by the saliency of "The New Immigrant City" lunches, the HCED faculty worked all spring to put together a research agenda to coincide with three practica that will be offered next year in Springfield, Lawrence, and Boston. All of these are grounded in what one could call "New Immigrant Neighborhoods," and all raise issues of practice for effective community development related to multiple ethnic groups.

International Development and Regional Planning

The faculty in the International Development and Regional Planning group are involved in multiyear research and teaching activities, each involving two to seven graduate students and/or Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) fellows. Many of the research efforts by the IDRP faculty focus on comparative studies between industrialized and developing countries. Overall, the faculty and students are working or planning to work on all continents.

Professor Judith Tendler and a group of students are examining four important sectors (garments, textiles, shoes, and fruit exports) in the poor northeastern regional economy of Brazil—a region of nine states and 45 million people—which has been faced with the competitive pressures of globalization. They examine the role of policy and public institutions in determining which sectors and/or firms fared better, which kinds of development had greater spillover effects and why, and the conditions under which growth was income distributing rather than income concentrating and workers fared better with globalization rather than worse. They look at whether and how government action at the local and regional level can make a difference in facing globalization.

Professor Ralph Gakenheimer is working with a group of faculty and students to study the increase of mobility and motorization in developing countries. They are completing case studies to analyze reasons for rampant growth in travel demand in a series of cities in the developing world. These are being done for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Urban Information Systems

Research and teaching in the Urban Information Systems (formerly Planning Support Systems) area continue to explore the growing impacts of ICT on urban planning, metropolitan governance, and our sense of community. ICT has greatly facilitated the capacity to study neighborhood-scale planning interventions and to understand and model the key factors that influence urban spatial structure and use patterns. Advances in information technologies have also enabled the location and spatial interaction of people, buildings, and events to be tracked, modeled, visualized, and manipulated as never before. The result has been a rapid growth of new opportunities—and risks—ranging from e-government, community empowerment, environmental monitoring, and urban modeling to increased concerns about privacy, security, "big brother," redlining, and a digital divide.

On one project, faculty worked in collaboration with the National Institute of Urban Affairs in New Delhi, India. This research initiative allowed UIS to gain exposure to innovative community building tools and provide technical assistance with the design of a community-based information system for improving water accessibility in low-income areas.

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Graduate Degree Program Enrollment and Activities

Our graduate programs enrolled 198 students this year. Of the total, 54 percent were women, 19 percent of US students were underrepresented minorities, and 35 percent were international students. The department granted 48 MCP, 3 SM, and 6 PhD degrees.

The Master's in City Planning (MCP) Committee devoted much energy this year providing oversight to the implementation of the new Core Curriculum approved last year. The fall term presented three new variations on required core courses. The most dramatic of these was the 11.201 Gateway: Planning Action course, which was required of all entering MCP students. For the first time in many years, all students—whether from this country or abroad—were required to participate in one version of "planning action." Both this subject and the other two revised fall subjects, Planning Communication and Media and Planning Economics, were given considerable review and evaluation by the MCP Committee. Beginning in 2003–2004, each MCP student will also be required to take a cross-cutting, place-based practicum.

During the past year, the PhD Committee addressed three issues. The first was improving the recruiting process. Its priority this year was to assist faculty in writing a set of recruiting letters to personal contacts at other institutions. In part because of these efforts, we have a strong incoming class of students. The letters are now institutionalized, and next year the committee will add telephone interviews of applicants who are in the final selection pool. The committee's second focus was implementing the curriculum reforms begun in the previous year. All PhD candidates are now required to take a methodology course and both a qualitative and a quantitative methods course as part of their program. We believe these requirements will better prepare students for both their dissertation and the job market. Finally, the committee has begun to hold events for PhD candidates to increase their sense of community. The first event was a dinner panel on research careers. In the coming year, the committee will hold at least one such event per semester on topics such as careers in teaching, writing a dissertation, and so forth.

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Undergraduate Program Activities

During 2002–2003, the Undergraduate Committee worked with DUSP undergraduate majors to expand contact among DUSP faculty and undergraduates and to enhance the visibility of the program among undergraduates. A monthly faculty-student seminar for undergrads was initiated in the spring semester. Professors Anne Whiston Spirn and Alice Amsden presented and discussed their research.

The department offers an annual study trip to a foreign city. During Independent Activities Period (IAP) 2003, Professor Robert Fogelson and María Jesús Fuente led a study trip to Madrid, Spain, in which five majors participated. The students visited diverse neighborhoods, institutions, corporations, and organizations and met with local planners, architects, and engineers who showed them how the city has been planned and built.

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Student Awards

Our graduate and undergraduate students received many awards from national and international organizations, the Institute, and the department.

MIT Awards

Michael Marrella won the Marvin E. Goody Award. Center for International Studies ETIA Summer Fellowships were awarded to Genevieve Connors, Uri Raich, Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet, Ali Shirvani-Mahdavi, Smita Srinivas, and Sunil Tankha. Aga Khan Program Travel Grant Awards for 2003–2004 went to Ozgur Basak Alkan and Danny Cherian.

Genevieve Connors won a Carroll L. Wilson Travel Award. Juniors Sean Leonard and Atif Qadir were selected as Ely Burchard Scholars in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Qadir was also an MIT Council for the Arts Scholar.

First Prize in the MIT Ideas Competition went to Jean Walsh, James Alexander, and Elizabeth Bast. MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice Summer Internship Fellows were Apiwat Ratanarawaha, Jean Walsh, Maggie Scott, Meghan Fennelly, Rajendra Kumar, and sophomore Sonia Kim. Ratanarawaha also won an MIT Center for International Studies Travel Fellowship.

Grants from the Harold Horowitz '51 Student Research Fund went to Danny Cherian and Maggie Scott. Cherian also received a grant from the Kelly F. Douglass Fund. Gregory Morrow won the MIT Architecture Department SMArchS Prize. A. Ricardo Jimenez was the MIT $1K Entrepreneurship Competition winner.

Senior Tamam Mango won the Lufthansa Award for Excellence in German Studies at MIT. Gan Golan received an MIT Council for the Arts Award. New members of the Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability were Raja Shankar, Anjali Mahendra, Yu Li, Pia Kohler, and Michael Sable. Alexis Bennett, Rosemary Dudley, and Rachel Loeb won the Ralph Adams Cram Award.

National/International Awards

Students won the following awards from outside MIT:

Departmental Awards

At its annual Commencement Breakfast, the department awarded the following:

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Staff Awards

The first annual Rolf R. Engler Award for Outstanding Service by Support or Administrative Staff went to Duncan Kincaid, with an Honorable Mention to Marisa Cravens. Karen Yegian and Sandra Wellford won School of Architecture and Planning 2003 Infinite Mile Awards. Natalia Sizov's poster was selected as a winner of the 2003 Alliance for Global Sustainability Poster Contest.

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Outreach to Alumni/ae

Local alumni/ae continued to play an active role in sponsoring internships for students, providing career advice at the alumni/ae career forums organized by each of the department's program groups and participating as guest lecturers in numerous classes. Alumni/ae also participated on discussion panels in the new Gateway Course, a key element in the revised MCP core curriculum.

At the same time, the department continued to step up efforts to enhance connections with alumni/ae across the country. In November, DUSP launched The Alumni/ae Connection, a monthly electronic newsletter reaching more than 80 percent of our alumni/ae. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

In October 2002, DUSP added San Francisco and Washington, DC, to New York City and Los Angeles, thereby doubling the number of regional receptions for alumni/ae and prospective students. All four were well-attended and successful events, supporting our efforts to strengthen local relations among alumni/ae and with the department in cities with significant numbers of MIT graduates.

Departmental receptions held at the annual conferences of the American Planning Association and Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning provided venues to catch up with alumni/ae from across the country. Local alumni/ae joined faculty and students at the annual Kevin Lynch Awards Event in April 2003.

The department proudly presented the second annual Excellence in Public Service Awards to Margaret Super, MCP '99, of Lawrence, MA, and Michael Crow, MCP '99, of Watertown, MA.

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International Connection

For academic year 2003, the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies hosted fifteen fellows. They came from Haiti, Singapore, Colombia, Taiwan, China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, and—under a renewal of MIT's relationship with the Humphrey Fellows Program— Korea, Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and South Africa. The fellows came with varied backgrounds, including economics, law, mechanical engineering, real estate development, sociology, urbanism and landscape, urban planning, and industrial engineering. This group of fellows brings the total number of SPURS fellows to 465 over the 36 years of the program's existence.

The program offers a variety of platforms and activities for the fellows' benefit. The theme for the Monday seminar series was "The Geography of Innovation," wherein speakers explored the innovative ways in which new development in industry sectors affects the clustering of firms, the development of global supply chains, and the ability to develop and sustain learning regions. The IAP seminar organized by the fellows on January 28–29, "An Urgent Matter: Planning Knowledge, Strategy and Action for Tomorrow," generated lively discussions and interactions among students, faculty, and others.

Networking and exchanges led to get-togethers with fellows from other universities. The Loeb fellows from Harvard School of Design came to MIT for Professor Vale's talk on "Housing the Lowest Income Americans: Boston's 400 Year Struggle," and Humphrey fellows from Boston and Rutgers Universities had exchanges among fellows about their experience, puzzling development issues, and reflections on life in the United States.

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Community Partnerships

The Center for Reflective Community Practice continued to build on its strong partnership with community-based organizations in the North End neighborhood of Springfield, MA. Highlights of this collaboration included teaching a community course on neighborhood asset mapping, technology planning, and digital storytelling. There was also significant progress toward developing a community geographic information system (GIS) and a community strategic planning process.

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Research Funding

Faculty and staff raised $952,710 in new funds in fiscal year 2003 for the following projects:

Lawrence J. Vale
Department Head
Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
MacVicar Faculty Fellow

More information about the Department of Urban Studies and Planning can be found on the web at


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